Monday, 1 February 2016


At the back end of last summer I was asked by All Out Cricket editor Phil Walker to write something about the hallowed club pro: the greats and not-so-greats, the upside and downside, a few yarns. I'm not entirely sure whether he realized that I'd written something very similar for them a couple of years earlier (while he was editor) but I was happy to oblige. 

However, time soon caught up with me and I found the deadline approaching with no work having been done. One Friday in September, the day of the deadline I headed to London for the Lord's one-day final, having explained to Phil, using a mixture of truth and white lie, why I hadn't yet filed.

I arrived at my mate's house (he was in Devon) and stayed up till 4am working furiously on this and another piece for AOC. Then I turned in for what was a smidge over 4 hours' kip, then dragged myself across town to Lord's.

Upon arrival, I checked the seating plan for where to park myself and my totally knackered Dell laptop and USB keyboard (keeping it real at the Home of Cricket). Who should I be sitting next to? Yep, Phil Walker. Ace. Only, he hadn't arrived. Acer. So I cracked on with writing about Sobers and Learie Constantine, SF Barnes and Shane Warne. But then he did arrive. Arse. 

I apologised for my slackness with the Pros prose. He said: "No problem. Monday's good."

I apologised for my slackness with the piece about Staffordshire's 1000th game. He said: "No problem. We're pushing that back a month to a different issue." I thought: "Well, you could have fucking told me that yesterday, before I stayed up till 4am working on it." But I said: "Oh, cool." Mainly, because I was in the wrong.

So then we watched the match, a humdinger, and I had a much-needed beer with a couple of journalists before schlepping first to Archway, to pick up the bag I'd travelled down with (as I'd be going to stay with friends in Woking for a couple of days), and then on to Dalston, where I was meeting said friends for drinks before heading on to Hackney Wick to an Altern 8 rave, at which I would start the process of writing about their dancer, Martyn, with whom I'd played junior cricket. I was still awake at 8am, by which stage I was a little bit tired. 

Still, the piece about the pro's turned out alright. And the strapline calls me a "stalwart clubbie"... 

Prose and Cons 

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